The state government seems to have learnt from its mistakes and has decided to act quickly to ensure that the city gets it close circuit television (CCTV) camera network.
The state has decided to invite fresh tenders for installing 6,000 CCTVs across Mumbai after a dispute between partners in the earlier consortium brought the project to a halt.
“We will make sure that we don’t repeat our mistakes. The background of companies in the consortiums, including foreign ones, and the funding patterns will be scrutinised,” JK Banthia, chief secretary, said on Tuesday.
HT was the first to report about the CCTV plan hitting a hurdle due to the dispute.
The previous bid was allocated to the consortium led by Allied Digital Services (ADS), MTNL, DWPL on May 21. It was found that ADS had been blacklisted by MTNL and there were questions whether the contract could go ahead in this manner.
Banthia, who also heads the high-level committee formed to chart out the project, said there new conditions would be put forth in the tenders to make it more water-tight.
“We will not be entertaining companies that are blacklisted. We will make sure that the entire CCTV process happens only through the home department and not with the help of civic bodies or the involvement of legislators’ funds,” he said.
He added, “It is a high-security issue and requires setting up of a huge back-end system.”
A major issue that has come up, Banthia said, is installation of cameras on government land — including railways, port trust — and even private areas such as hotels, malls which are highly vulnerable.
The committee is also considering expanding the CCTV networks to satellite towns of Navi Mumbai, Thane and Pune.
Although Banthia did not give a specific time frame for setting up the system, he said the committee was in the process of disposing of the first tender and framing new conditions for the next.
More than three years after the 26/11 terror attacks, the CCTV surveillance plan, a major recommendation in the Ram Pradhan committee report, is still to be implemented.